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Textual Deceptions

False Memoirs and Literary Hoaxes in the Contemporary Era

Sue Vice

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Argues that literary deceptions and false memoirs have particular cultural value and significance

Textual Deceptions considers a wide range of twentieth- and twenty-first century literary works in which the relationship between text and author is not what it seems. By exploring a variety of examples of false or embellished memoirs, purportedly autobiographical novels that are in fact thoroughly fictional, as well as bogus authorial personae, Sue Vice discusses whether it is possible to judge veracity by means of textual clues alone. The accounts featured range from ‘misery memoirs’ to Holocaust testimony, poetry purportedly by a Hiroshima survivor, short stories by an Albanian civil servant, fiction by an Aboriginal woman and by a former male prostitute.

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About the Author

Sue Vice is Professor of English Literature at the University of Sheffield. Her publications include the co-edited volume Representing Perpetrators in Holocaust Literature and Film (2013), Shoah (BFI Film Classics, 2011), Jack Rosenthal (MUP, 2009), Children Writing the Holocaust (Palgrave, 2004), Holocaust Fiction (Routledge, 2000), and Introducing Bakhtin (MUP, 1997). She is also the editor of Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Reader (Polity Press 1996).


Discussing everything from misery memoirs to "indigenous envy," and from gender hoaxes to embellished Holocaust tales, Sue Vice uncovers a rich vein of deception in contemporary literature. Original and authoritative, Textual Deceptions will be of interest to scholars and students of fiction and non-fiction--and to those interested in the blurred boundaries between them.

--Michael Rothberg, author of Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization

- Michael Rothberg

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